As a Christian

     As a Christian, I’m pissed off and I’m not going to take it anymore.
     Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the State of Missouri’s appeal on a law that limits protests at funerals. A lower court ruled that the law is not enforceable until a lawsuit filed by Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., was decided. Missouri was trying to overturn the ruling.
     Phelps-Roper claimed the law, which would create a buffer zone between protesters and funerals and processions, violated free speech rights. Phelps-Roper and other members of Westboro, a gay-hating church, have protested thousands of military funerals because they believe those deaths are a punishment from God because of America’s acceptance of homosexuals.
     The irony is that these brave men and women who have died in the service of our country have given their lives to allow idiots like the Westboro clan to open their mouths and make asses of themselves. Unfortunately, Phelps-Roper may be in the right on this one and I certainly would not want to infringe free speech, which is a pillar of our society.
     My problem is that hate and church are synonymous when describing Westboro. Hate and church should never be in the same sentence.
     Churches that preach a hate doctrine, I’m also talking to you Rev. Jeremiah Wright, give all Christians a bad name. Jesus Christ, the man we are supposed to follow and live our lives like as Christians, never hated any other individuals. He hated tyranny and oppression, but not people. Even as they were hanging Him on a cross, an extremely violent and painful death, He asked His Father to forgive His killers.
     Unfortunately, that message is lost on certain churches. As a consequence, that message is lost on people who truly need to hear it.
     Westboro grabs national headlines with their warped interpretations of the Bible. As a result, society as a whole gains a warped sense of Christianity.
     Many view Christianity as dull, outdated, judgmental and out of touch. But it is just the opposite.
     Jesus Christ welcomed the down-trodden in society to be by his side. Prostitutes, tax collectors and the mentally ill were some of those closest to him. He never judged. He only loved.
     The Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin. Leviticus 18:22 states, “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.”
     But the Bible also lists adultery, greed, drunkenness, gluttony, murder and envy as sins. The Bible says that a married man commits adultery by even looking at another woman with impure thoughts. How many of us married men have been guilty of that in … the past week, day, minute?
     The fact is we are all sinners in an imperfect world. The Bible doesn’t create a sin caste system. Getting drunk is the same as homosexuality and committing adultery is the same as homosexuality in God’s eyes.
     Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Christians sin just as much as non-Christians. The difference is that Christians know we are forgiven. All we have to do is ask God into our hearts and His grace cleans us of our sin, no matter the sin.
     Unfortunately, hate groups such as Westboro, who cloak themselves in Christianity, blur the message to unrecognizable proportions. Christianity does not equal hate, it equals love.
     Where’s the love Westboro?

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